Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 30 November 2021

p. 1137. The lessons of historieslocked

p. 1137. The lessons of historieslocked

  • Paul Slack


‘The lesson of histories’ explores the lessons from histories of plague. These lessons highlight the importance of cultures and institutions, contexts and agents in creating epidemics and reactions to them. They show that the ways in which people think and live, the kinds of information available to them, and the kinds of behaviour they adopt make a difference. Whether they were effective or not, the quarantine policies invented and developed in early modern Europe demonstrated the role played by political cultures and political institutions in shaping reactions to plague. The responses to new or ‘re-emerging’ diseases, which seemed to threaten fresh pandemic disasters, including HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, have shown that public and private responses to them will be necessary, diverse, and divisive, and no more certain to succeed than they were in the past.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.